The actor, who plays Jesus on the hit AMC series, revealed on Talking Dead Sunday night that he's engaged to longtime girlfriend Jennifer Akerman, whose sister is actress Malin Akerman

By Breanne L. Heldman
November 26, 2018 10:18 AM
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Spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen Sunday’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead!

Jesus may have died at the hands of The Whisperers on Sunday’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead, but actor Tom Payne was all smiles immediately afterward as he chatted about the episode live on Talking Dead.

Perhaps that had something to do with the romantic reveal he made when host Chris Hardwick asked him about receiving the call from showrunner Angela Kang warning him about the demise of the character he’s played since season 6.

“I got the call like, an episode before and I was texting my girlfriend, now fiancée,” he began as Hardwick interrupted with a shocked “Congratulations!”

Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Payne, 35, has been dating 29-year-old Swedish singer and model Jennifer Akerman, who is the sister of actress Malin Akerman, since 2013.

“She was the first person who wasn’t afraid to challenge me and call me on my s—,” Payne told Women’s Health of Akerman early this year. “A few weeks in, we had an argument on the street, and I said to her, ‘I don’t do this!’ I was in a relationship for 10 years before this one, and we never argued, mainly because I always had the power. But with this relationship, it’s a fifty-fifty split. We’re totally invested.”

The happy couple appear to have celebrated Thanksgiving on a hike together.

“Thankful today for the path my life has taken up till now and all the people that have helped and supported me along the way. Especially the special lady peeking out from behind me in the photo!” he captioned a selfie of the two of them. “America has given me a lot. I’m doing my best to return the love. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!”

The Walking Dead season 9, sans Payne, returns Feb. 10 on AMC.